DePaul vs. Cincinnati Game Preview

The DePaul Blue Demons (8-9, 0-4) take on the Bearcats of Cincinnati (11-6, 1-3) in a Big East battle at Allstate Arena on Saturday afternoon. In this report,'s Dan Stack previews the game and we also hear from UC coach Mick Cronin…

Key Information

DePaul Blue Demons vs. Cincinnati Bearcats - Saturday, January 17th, 1:00 p.m. Central

Television – ESPN-U

Radio – WSCR

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Cincinnati Athletics

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Game Preview

DePaul, still winless in the Big East at 0-4 (8-9 overall), will entertain the Cincinnati Bearcats on Saturday afternoon at the All State Arena. The Bearcats just got themselves in the win column in the Big East this week after beating Rutgers 71-59 on Wednesday to improve to 11-6 overall and 1-3 in the Big East.

DePaul has had a week off to regroup from the humbling 80-58 loss at home to South Florida, where the Demons dropped to 0-4 in the conference and 8-9 overall.

While the Big East is loaded with heavyweights, each team will view this match up as a winnable game, especially the Demons who will be the host team.

The Bearcats, who were predicted to finish 11th in the Big East by the coaches, have some talent and are a relentless group of hard workers under head coach Mick Cronin.

The motor that charges this team is 6-1 junior guard Deonta Vaughn. Vaughn leads the Bearcats in scoring (15.4 ppg) and assists with 83. Vaughn was selected to the 2008-2009 Preseason All Big East Team, and he is a handful to contain. Although Vaughn is not shooting at a great rate (39 FG%), he can get hot at a moments notice and carry the team.

Complimenting Vaughn are frontcourt athletes - Yancy Gates (9.9 ppg and 6.2 rpg) and Mike Williams (9.6 ppg and 5.6 rpg). Gates is a heralded freshman who is tapping his vast potential. Williams, who originally signed with Texas as a McDonald's All American, transferred to Cincinnati in 2007 after playing two seasons with the Longhorns. However, his stint with the Bearcats got derailed as he had to sit out all of last year as a medical redshirt after rupturing his Achilles tendon. But Williams is back and getting better with each conference game. In conference, Williams is averaging 14.8 ppg and getting his game up to speed.

Another part-time starter who may be of recognition to the DePaul faithful is 6-3 freshman guard Dion Dixon out of Chicago (Crane High School). Dixon is fourth on the team in scoring with 6.8 ppg. Look for Dixon to be amped to be playing in front of family and friends.

Neither DePaul nor Cincinnati shoots the ball with any consistency; DePaul ranking last in the Big East in Field Goal percentage (41%) and Cincinnati coming in at 14th (42 %).

So expect a grind it out type of game with some erratic shooting. Neither team is equipped to battle the heavyweights of this league, so both teams will be desperate to win this matchup.

For DePaul to be successful they have to put the memory of last Saturday's shocking loss to South Florida behind them and come out with nothing to lose. It may be a long season ahead of the Demons, but this game is there for the taking.

UC Coach Mick Cronin on the Demons

"I haven't had a chance to see DePaul a lot. Hopefully it's to our advantage that we played this week and we'll be sharp. Maybe they won't be since they've been off all week. Those are things you never know. I'm just hoping we can get there. I hear it's 20 below zero up there. I know that Dar Tucker and Mac Koshwal are two of the best players in our conference. DePaul has too much youth in shark's waters. Talent isn't enough this year. Not in this conference. You need talent and you need returning players, veteran players. You need to be in the top 20 in the country to be in the top eight in our conference."

"Will Walker has been around. Jabari Currie is a guy that's important to their success, because he's a veteran. You can't win this year in this conference unless your veterans step to the plate. Jabari Currie to me is a guy that they need to show leadership."

The Last Time

The Blue Demons earned their first win at Cincinnati in 16 years as senior guard Draelon Burns led them to a 60-54 victory over the host Bearcats. Burns led the Demons with 24 points on five of six from beyond the arc. Dar Tucker added 15 points for DePaul.

Senior Forward John Williamson led Cincinnati with 19 points in his final home game.

Cincinnati Roster

NO NAME HT WT POS CL EXP Hometown High School

1 Cashmere Wright 6-0 175 G FR HS Savannah, Ga. Urban Christian Academy

2 Eddie Tyree 5-10 175 G JR Tr. Canal Winchester, Ohio Groveport Madison

3 Dion Dixon 6-3 180 G FR HS Chicago, Ill. Crane Technical Prep Common

5 Deonta Vaughn 6-1 190 G JR 2L Indianapolis, Ind. Harmony Community

11 Larry Davis 6-3 195 G SO 1L Houston, Texas Alief-Hastings

15 Darnell Wilks 6-7 205 F SO 1L Nashville, Tenn. Pioneer Christian Academy

20 Branden Miller 6-4 195 G SR 3L (NS) Cincinnati, Ohio Indian Hill

21 Mike Williams 6-7 240 F SR 1 Sq. Camden, Ala. Wilcox Central

22 Rashad Bishop 6-6 220 F SO 1L Newark, N.J. Kennedy

23 Alvin Mitchell 6-5 210 F SO 1L Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Cardinal Gibbons

30 Anthony McClain 7-0 255 C SO 1L Trenton, NJ National Christian Academy

32 Kenny Belton 6-8 255 F SO 1L Salem, Va. Dudley (N.C.)

34 Yancy Gates 6-9 255 F FR HS Cincinnati, Ohio Withrow

42 Steve Toyloy 6-8 255 C JR Tr. West Palm Beach, Fla. Palm Beach Lakes

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